GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — It will probably be cloudy here in West Michigan, but the bright planets Venus and Jupiter will undergo a close pass in the evening sky this week.
The progression will happen over the span of about three days. To see the ‘passing planets’ look to the western sky during the evening hours of Feb. 28, March 1 and March 2.
According to Earthsky, the planets have been inching closer to each other through the entire month of February in the early nighttime sky. Both planets are quite bright and stand out clearly to the naked eye. Venus is always a bright planet, ranking the third brightest in the sky behind the sun and the moon. During the days around conjunction Venus will appear roughly two times brighter than Jupiter. Both will be brighter than any surrounding stars, making them easy to spot.
So how close will these two celestial bodies pass? Quite close, from our perspective. At conjunction, which happens on March 1, the two planets will appear to be only 0.5 degrees apart. This is about the thickness of a full moon.
The two planets will continue to be quite visible in the evening sky after conjunction. Venus will begin climbing higher in the sky from night to night. Jupiter will drop slightly closer to the horizon through the first week of March. Both will remain just as bright as they have during the month of February.